Minister On Signature Learning Programmes

October 7, 2022 | 0 Comments

Minister of Education Diallo Rabain provided an update “on the opening of Signature Schools and the introduction of signature learning programmes in our two senior schools, the Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy.”

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [Oct 7] the Minister said, “The Signature School at The Berkeley Institute will feature signature programmes in:

  • Financial and Insurance Services which includes programmes in:
    • Accountancy o Banking and Financial Services
    • Business Administration and Management
    • Fintech
    • Insurance
  • Health and Social Care which includes programmes in:
    • Holistic and Allied Health Care Services
    • Medical Sciences and Services
    • Social Sciences and Services

“The Signature School at CedarBridge Academy will feature signature programmes in:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] which includes programmes in:
    • Animal and Veterinary Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Creative Technologies
    • Engineering
    • Environmental Sciences
  • Trades and Profession Learning Programme which includes programmes in:
    • Automotive Technology
    • Carpentry
    • Cosmetology
    • Culinary Arts and Hospitality
    • Electrical
    • Horticulture
    • Textiles and Design

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker,

This morning, I rise to provide this Honourable House and the community at large with an update on the opening of Signature Schools and the introduction of signature learning programmes in our two senior schools, the Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy. This is undoubtedly a significant milestone achieved in the ongoing work of Education Reform for our Public School System. Work that has covered some 30 months of belief and determination.

Mr. Speaker,

Much work has been and continues to happen to ensure that our children, Bermuda’s children, have an educational experience that prepares them for their future and connects them with their community. As you have heard me say on several occasions, Bermuda’s children are Bermuda’s future. With this, Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure and gratitude to inform the House that on Monday, September 12th, 2022, we celebrated a new chapter in Education Reform. On this day, a total of 289 incoming S1 students entered The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy to undertake Signature Learning Programmes in Health and Social Care, Financial and Insurance Services, STEM, and Trades and Professions.

Mr. Speaker,

In celebration of this new chapter in learning for our children and Bermuda, the school hallways at both the Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy were lined by students, educators, school leaders, Ministry and Department of Education staff, alumni and community partners as they clapped the procession of incoming S1 students who will be embarking on a transformative journey and a new way of learning.

Mr. Speaker,

I was deeply moved while welcoming our S1 students at both schools, knowing that the work and effort, some 30 months worth, had been put into implementing the Signature Schools and their signature learning programmes. Programmes that will serve our children well for years to come.

Mr. Speaker,

This is the change our community has been demanding for years. Learning for our children that is personalized, flexible, relevant, future-focused, inspiring, and authentically Bermudian. Areas of learning that students have chosen for themselves. Learning that will open up further study and career opportunities.

Mr. Speaker

The Signature School at The Berkeley Institute will feature signature programmes in:

  • Financial and Insurance Services which includes programmes in:
    • Accountancy o Banking and Financial Services
    • Business Administration and Management
    • Fintech
    • Insurance
  • Health and Social Care which includes programmes in:
    • Holistic and Allied Health Care Services
    • Medical Sciences and Services
    • Social Sciences and Services

Mr. Speaker, the Signature School at Cedarbridge Academy will feature signature programmes in:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] which includes programmes in:
    • Animal and Veterinary Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Creative Technologies
    • Engineering
    • Environmental Sciences
  • Trades and Profession Learning Programme which includes programmes in:
    • Automotive Technology
    • Carpentry
    • Cosmetology
    • Culinary Arts and Hospitality
    • Electrical
    • Horticulture
    • Textiles and Design

Mr. Speaker,

In my press release on the first day of the school academic year, I said that this change has been built by Bermudians for Bermuda through engagement with teachers, students, parents, and business and community leaders. I take this opportunity to acknowledge and sincerely thank every educator, school leader, learning partner and team member who has contributed to the most significant and essential cause of doing what is best for our children’s future.

Mr. Speaker,

The learning that our S1 students are currently engaged in will create a generation of young people who are engaged, adaptive, entrepreneurial, innovative, culturally connected, and empowered. These attributes will shape our young people to be creators of future jobs. To be active citizens and tackle increasingly complex challenges.

Mr. Speaker,

While I am very excited for what we have achieved to date, this is just the beginning. Whilst our educators at The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy are delivering our first year of Signature Learning Programmes, they are also beginning work on developing what is required for the S2 and S3 levels. And we are not stopping at just what happens in the Signature Learning Programmes. Teams of teachers at both Senior Schools are also focusing on redesigning the first two disciplines in the core curriculum: Mathematics and Science and on scaling a new model of advisory which caters to the more critical than ever area of social-emotional learning.

Mr. Speaker,

While so far, my statement has been focused on providing updates on the achievements and work underway in our Senior Schools, it would be remiss of me not to quickly refer to the remainder of the school transformation work underway right now. This includes the developmental work to prepare for a third Signature Senior School offering Hospitality and Tourism and Education Services Signature Learning Programmes and the phased introduction of Parish Primary Schools at the Francis Patton and Purvis Primary School sites.

Mr. Speaker,

Whether it be

  • the 93-year-old Mr. Furbert whom I spoke with at the Parish Primary School Pop-Up at Crawl Hill Gas Station last week,
  • the parent that I spoke with at the Senior Signature School Pop-Up at the National Library last Friday who sent her children overseas for school,
  • the young professional who spoke about her child at a public primary school when I stopped to visit the team at the Pop-Up at Lindos in Devonshire on Monday evening, and lastly
  • the mother that told us about her older children’s struggles in the Public System and the hope she saw for her younger children at the Pop-Up on Nellie’s Walk on Wednesday.

The thoughts expressed have been the same – this is the change our community has been asking for.

Mr. Speaker,

Before coming into power, this Government made an earnest promise to Bermuda and her people. This was to “Reform public education by phasing out middle schools and introducing signature schools at the secondary level . . .” . Our public school system is moving in this direction. The legislation was passed last year to shift from a 3-tier to a 2-tier system. This year, the phased introduction of signature learning programmes for our S1 students was achieved. We will continue in a staged way to transform the quality of public education so that each and every young person in Bermuda can achieve great learning and life outcomes.

Mr. Speaker,

This Government is serious about transforming public school education because we value our young people. This is demonstrated not by our commitments but by our approach to delivering on those commitments. Of course, we are focused on quality and fidelity, but given that much of this work is unprecedented in Bermuda, we need to balance that with a new set of practices centred around collaboration, a learning mindset and large doses of determination and perseverance. This will ensure we can continue the work to reform our Public School System.

Mr. Speaker,

Important work that is to create the necessary opportunities for our children to follow their passions and interests, build on their talents and capabilities, and achieve their careers and further aspirations. We will continue to be relentless in our focus and efforts because the work is to impact future generations, and it is not just our children that depend on the work, but it’s also the success of Bermuda.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

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